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Research Spotlight: Carole Beal

Q & A with Carole Beal, Professor in the School of Teaching and Learning
Carole Beal

What basic questions does your research seek to answer?

For me, it’s all about personalizing the learning opportunities that will support students and allow them to do their best possible work. Technology gives us so many new ways to accomplish this, and as new technologies are developed, it’s exciting to imagine how they could be used for education. At the same time, I know that education technology research has a history of creating “cool tools” that had no impact because teachers and students weren’t consulted about what they actually needed. So, for me the basic question is, how can we use technology to improve both learning outcomes and also the experience for both students and teachers?

What makes your work interesting?

To me or to others? For me, it’s the range of technologies that might be applicable to learning. I think I am a closet geek! For others, it might be that there is something coming along every day that might help students in the future but it needs people who can translate a technology into something that can actually be used in classrooms and who can assess whether it is actually an improvement over the existing model. Just because something is new and looks cool does not mean it actually works any better than what we already have.

What are you currently working on?

Most of my research time is going into two projects funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. Both projects involve personalized learning through technology but at different scales. One project focuses on helping students with visual impairments (VI) learn to find information in what we call math graphics: maps, line or bar graphs, charts, etc. We are developing training units for an iPad app that will be available through the American Printing House for the Blind. This project involves working one-on-one with students with limited vision because the ways they access information are unique.

The other project also involves math learning but at a much larger scale. In fact, it involves data from hundreds of thousands of Florida students who have used Algebra Nation, an online tutoring program developed by the Lastinger Center for Learning and Study Edge with support from the state of Florida. The idea is that we should be able tailor the experience for each new student by using data about what worked (or didn’t) for previous students with similar characteristics. Yes, every student is unique but with data from half a million prior users, the chances are good that we can find records from students with similar characteristics and learn from their experience.

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Research Spotlight: Danling Fu

Q & A with Danling Fu, Professor in the School of Teaching and Learning
Danling Fu

What basic questions does your research seek to answer?

Currently I have two research projects I have been working on (1) Comparative studies of K-12 Literacy Instruction between the US and China, and (2) Translanguaging pedagogical model and Emergent Bilinguals in the US.

The research question for the first study:

How do the practices of literacy instruction in the US and China reflect their respective cultural and literacy traditions?

The research question for the second study:

How does “translanguaging pedagogical model” prepare emergent bilingual students to meet the literary demands of the 21st century globalize world?

What makes your work interesting?

My comparative study suggests a shift of research on literacy instruction at K-12 level in the US towards a more global perspective, which is part of an ethical and democratic imperative that furthers a conversation among researchers and educators across the globe about literary traditions, pedagogy, and practice and indicates “two divergent systems may use each other as a mirror to reflect up their own perspectives and practices” (Ma, 2014, p. 5).

My second study challenges the conventional monolingual perspective in second language acquisition and transitional bilingual education, and advocates translanguaging, a pedagogical model that values all language varieties in a learner’s repertoire, leveraged as resources that can be used to facilitate communication and learning and has the capacity to meet needs of emergent bilinguals for the 21st century globalized world.

What are you currently working on?

For the first study, with my co-author in China, we have published 15 articles on the comparative studies of writing instruction (2015-2016) and we have just completed and submitted our book manuscript contracted with Shanghai Education Press (in press 2017).  Now we are moving into our second phase: comparative studies of reading instruction between the US and China.  Three secondary English teachers at PK Yonge Developmental Research School have joined my research team as the second phase of this study will include practitioners’ perspective and voice.

For the second study, in collaboration with two colleagues at Pennsylvania State University and University of Georgia, we have been working on a book proposal titled Literacy and Education for Emergent Bilinguals in the 21st Century: Reality, Challenges and Directions for the Future, commissioned with Teachers College Press, and we are at the revised and resubmission stage.

Fulbright Awareness Month March 10 to April 10, 2017

The International Center is pleased to announce its celebration of Fulbright Awareness Month, March 10 to April 10, 2017. In collaboration with the UF Fulbright Lectures Committee, UF Honors, the Graduate School, and the North Florida Fulbright Alumni Association, multiple activities for students, scholars, faculty, and staff will provide opportunities to learn about the Fulbright application process and to hear about the experiences of past Fulbright scholars and students.

Additionally this year, information sessions for faculty interested in applying for the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program will be led by Dr. Andy Riess, Assistant Director of Outreach at the Council for International Exchange for Scholars (CIES) in Washington, D.C.  Dr. Riess will also be available for consultations with interested faculty applicants.

Below is the calendar of UF events programmed for Fulbright Awareness Month:

  • Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Info Sessions, March 13th, 9am and 2pm, UF International Center, (Individual Consultations Available on the same day) (The Hub)
  • U.S. Student Program Info Sessions, March 15th, 4:05 pm, UF International Center and March 30th, 3:00 pm, UF International Center
  • “Things to Consider When Applying for a Fulbright and Preparing to Go,” Workshop by Karen Reed (for faculty), March 15th, 10:00 am, UF International Center
  • President’s Fulbright Reception (by invitation only), March 15th, 5:30 pm, University House
  • “How to Prepare a Successful Fulbright Application,” April 7th, 3:30 pm, UF International Center, by Anna Calluori and John Freeman (for faculty)

Fulbright grants and fellowships are available in all fields of study and in many world regions. For more information, see http://ufic.ufl.edu/Fulbright/index.html

To learn more about Fulbright programs and activities at UF, contact the appropriate Fulbright coordinator listed below:

Regan Garner, rlgarner@ufl.edu, U.S. Student Program

Debra Anderson, danderson@ufic.ufl.edu, Foreign Student Program

Claire Anumba, canumba@ufic.ufl.edu, U.S. Scholar Program (UF Faculty)

Scott Davis, sdavis@ufic.ufl.edu, Visiting Scholar Program

Matt Mitterko, mmitterko@aa.ufl.edu, Non-resident Tuition Waiver

Charlie Guy, clguy@ufl.edu, UF Fulbright Lecture Series Committee

Carlos Maeztu, maeztu@gmail.com, North Florida Chapter Fulbright Association

For more information, please contact Mabel Cardec at mcardec@ufic.ufl.edu

 

Informatics Institute 3rd Annual Symposium on March 16

The UF Informatics Institute (UFII) is proud to host its 3rd Annual Symposium Thursday, March 16 from 8 am – 5 pm in Room 2365, J. Wayne Reitz Union. Students, researchers, faculty, and industry professionals from across the nation will join together to interact, share research, and collaborate. To register, see the Registration: UFII Annual Symposium webpage.

Focusing on the latest trends in informatics and the UFII mission of cross-discipline collaborative research, UFII has invited guest speakers from across the campus and outside the UF to present on topics, including election data, text mining, network science, and machine learning. UFII welcomes the participation of anyone actively utilizing cutting-edge informatics technologies and techniques, and anyone who would like to learn more about them.

For more information, see the UFII 3rd Annual Symposium webpage.

UF Leadership Development Program Applications Open April 1

UF Human Resources Services Training and Organizational Development offers various programs for you to begin or continue your leadership exploration at a level that is most compatible with your career stage as well as your personal and professional aspirations.

Leadership @ UF invites you to examine its Leadership Programs and consider which might best fit your interests.  Please do not hesitate to contact Leadership @ UF to help you assess which program might be right for you.

Below are links to learn more about each of the leadership development opportunities:

This collaboration between UF’s Office of the Provost, Faculty Senate, and Human Resource Services, offers UF academic and professional leaders a program to deepen their leadership skills.

A program designed for emerging leaders at UF offering an immersion in the culture and organizational structure of our institution. This 9-month program includes meetings with UF leaders, a trip to Tallahassee, and a ROPES challenge course.

Any leader completing the development programs is invited to these quarterly events. These engaging forums support continued exploration of leadership issues and provide opportunities for networking and collaboration across campus.

The training content for this program is aligned with the Leadership Competency Model and offers a certificate upon completion. Faculty and staff can participate in these 3-hour workshops at their own pace.

This is a unique opportunity to receive your Supervisory Challenge certificate with a cohort of peers. This venue offers a forum to discuss application of concepts learned in the classes and create a network of support across campus.

A professional development program for faculty and staff ready to hone storytelling skills to inspire support for organizational objectives and to interact with the news media to galvanize people to positive action.

For more information, see Leadership @ UF on the UF Human Resource Services website.

NSF Holds Spring 2017 Grants Conference

The National Science Foundation (NSF) will hold its Spring 2017 Grants Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, June 5 – 6, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency Louisville and will be hosted by Kentucky’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (KY EPSCoR). The fee to attend is $300. Registration opens at 12:00 pm EST on March 30, 2017.

NSF anticipates the conference will reach capacity very quickly and encourages you to reserve your place as soon as possible. In addition, NSF recommends that attendees book their rooms at the same time they register. The Hyatt Regency Louisville is offering a reduced rate of $121 per night for a standard guest room, plus applicable taxes.

Further information will be available on the NSF Grants Conferences and Events webpage soon.

If you have any questions, please contact Reagan Sims at grants_conference@nsf.gov or at (703) 245-7410.

A DSP Reminder: Effort Commitment Entry into UFIRST or not into UFIRST?

An effort commitment is reflective of the promise made to the sponsor of the key personnel that will be working on the project. It is DSP’s role to ensure this promise of effort commitments of all key personnel has been entered correctly in a UFIRST Award.  Once approved this initial entry becomes the baseline commitment of each key person and is maintained for the life of the award in UFIRST.

  • No changes are made in UFIRST, unless sponsor approved. In the case of a sponsor-approved change, a UFIRST Award Modification, using the type Personnel, is the correct tool to use to modify and reflect the new baseline commitment.
  • Any other changes to effort commitments of key personnel that do not require sponsor approval, such as term-by-term adjustments or reductions within allowable sponsor tolerances are made using the myUFL>Effort Reporting>Effort Commitments and not UFIRST when making adjustments to effort commitments of the key personnel.

 For a detailed look at Effort Commitment Entry Guidance, visit the DSP Effort Reporting & Management webpage and the Cost Analysis Effort Certification webpage and read the Commitment Entry Guidelines document.

UF Offers Data Management Plan Tools for Faculty

Funding agencies are responding to the current increase in data-centered and data-driven research by requiring that researchers think ahead about the work and data flows in their proposed projects and to document this in a data management plan (DMP).

UF researchers can draw upon institutional infrastructure and expertise in developing these plans. The Smathers Libraries and UFIT Research Computing are taking the lead in supporting researchers in their efforts to create solid data management plans in order to become more competitive in getting proposals funded.

Have you been asked to create a data management plan by a funding agency? Are you aware of the key components of a data management plan independent of the program solicitation? Do you want to create your own data management plan? You can learn through using the DMPTool.

  1. FIRST, review some of the key components of a data management plan via the data management training workshop presentation here.
  2. SECOND, create your data management plan via the DMPTool here.

If you would like to schedule a data management training workshop presentation for your department and/or request DMPTool training, contact the Data Management and Curation Working Group, Subject Liaisons, or the Data Management Librarian.

GatorBox Cloud Storage Service to be Decommissioned

For faculty members with Research Computing investments, GatorBox has provided a Dropbox-like interface for accessing storage. The software behind this interface was created and maintained by ownCloud. This company has recently undergone several major changes, and the university is compelled to discontinue the GatorBox service as a result.

The last day of the GatorBox service is scheduled for June 30, 2017.

GatorBox users may elect to use one of the following UF-provided alternatives:

GatorBox users with questions about accessing the data stored on their Research Computing investment, or are otherwise concerned with discontinuation of the service, should feel free to contact support@rc.ufl.edu to discuss their storage needs.

Awarded Projects for February 2017

College of Education
Awarded Projects
February 2017
Principal Investigator: Lise Andrews (P.K. Yonge)
Co-PI: Eric Lemstrom (P.K. Yonge)
Funding Agency: National Education Association Foundation
Project Title: Awesome Invertebrates
Project Period: 1/17/2017 – 1/17/2018
Award Amount: $2,000
Principal Investigator: Patricia Snyder (AZCEES/SSESPECS)
Co-PI: N/A
Funding Agency: Florida Department of Health
Project Title: Increasing Social-Emotional Outcomes for Florida’s Early Steps Infants/Toddlers: Institutions of Higher Education Supporting the Three Model Demonstration Sites to Implement the Demonstration Site Implementation Plan
Project Period: 2/2/2017 – 6/30/2019
Award Amount: $656,151
Principal Investigator: Patricia Snyder (AZCEES/SSESPECS)
Co-PI: N/A
Funding Agency: University of North Carolina (Subcontract – IES Flow Through)
Project Title: ECTA: DEC Recommended Practices in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education
Project Period: 1/16/2017 – 8/30/2017
Award Amount: $33,150

Submitted Projects for February 2017

College of Education
Submitted Projects
February 2017
Principal Investigator: Pavlo “Pasha” Antonenko (STL)
Co-PI: N/A
Funding Agency: National Science Foundation
Proposal Title: EXP: Collaborative Research: Cyber-Eye: Transforming Construction Engineering Learning Using Unmanned Aerial Systems
Requested Amount: $105,673
Principal Investigator: Joseph Gagnon (SSESPECS)
Co-PI: Cynthia Griffin (SSESPECS), Kara Dawson (STL), Albert Ritzhaupt (STL)
Funding Agency: US Department of Education/OSEP
Proposal Title: Promoting Leadership for Educational Access in Alternative Settings (PLEAAS): A Program to Prepare Leadership Personnel in Special Education
Requested Amount: $1,242,325
Principal Investigator: George Michailidis (Informatics Institute)
Co-PI: Walter Leite (SHDOSE), Pamela Soltis (Molecular Systematics), Robert Guralnick (Bio Informatics)
Funding Agency: National Science Foundation
Proposal Title: NRT: Integrated Research and Data Sciences for Biodiversity (IREADBIO)
Requested Amount: $85,844
Principal Investigator: Donald Pemberton (Lastinger Center for Learning)
Co-PI: N/A
Funding Agency: Study Edge (Subcontract – Michigan Department of Education Flow-Through)
Proposal Title: Supporting of Algebra Nation Michigan 2016-17
Requested Amount: $10,000
Principal Investigator: Philip Poekert (Lastinger Center for Learning)
Co-PI: N/A
Funding Agency: West Ed (Subcontract – State of California Flow-Through)
Proposal Title: First 5 California Early Learning Coaching and CoP
Requested Amount: $687,509